Canadian Dairy Statisitcs Second Quarter 2011

For the second quarter of 2011, Canadian milk sales to consumers were up 1.1 per cent from last year whilst sales of cream decreased, reports Statistics Canada.
calendar icon 25 September 2011
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Statistics Canada


  • For the 12-month period ending 30 June, 2011, the milk supply in Canada was 52.7 million hectolitres as determined by the Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee (CMSMC).

  • Canadian milk producers sold 7.0 million kilolitres of milk and cream to dairy processors during the first eleven months of the dairy year 2010-2011, the same as last year. Industrial milk sales accounted for 60.7 per cent of all milk sold and totalled 4.3 million kilolitres. Fluid milk sales totalled 2.8 million kilolitres.

  • Canadian consumers purchased 2.7 million kilolitres of milk and cream during the first eleven months of the dairy year 2010-2011, up 1.1 per cent from the same period a year ago.
    Sales of two per cent milk, which accounts for the majority of milk and cream sales, stood at 1,134.8 thousand kilolitres, 0.8 per cent above the last year’s level.
    Sales of one per cent milk increased 2.5 per cent to reach 556.6 thousand kilolitres. Skim milk sales increased 1.2 per cent to 263.7 thousand kilolitres. Sales of standard (homogenised) milk decreased 0.9 per cent to 332.4 thousand kilolitres.

  • Sales of cream decreased 0.5 per cent to 228.1 thousand kilolitres compared to last year.

  • Butter production increased 0.3 per cent during the first eleven months of the dairy year 2010-2011 to 76.6 thousand tonnes.

  • Variety cheese production decreased 1.8 per cent during the eleven months of the dairy year 2010-2011 to 218.8 thousand tonnes, while cheddar cheese production increased by 1.8 per cent to 127.2 thousand tonnes.


This publication provides a statistical summary on the dairy industry in Canada and the provinces for current and previous calendar years.

Data include monthly as well as year-to-date information on farm sales of milk and cream for fluid and industrial purposes, cash receipts from milk and cream sold off farms, production, stocks, and supply and disposition of key dairy products and by-products.

Data series are available on a historic basis since 1920.

Through co-operation between provincial departments of agriculture, milk marketing boards and Statistics Canada, dairy statistics are collected, compiled, disseminated and analysed on a monthly basis.

Information on the volume of milk and cream sold off farms and commercial sales of fluid milk and cream by dairies are used by provincial governments and marketing boards.

These data are important as indicators of change in the supply-managed dairy industry, a major contributor to total farm cash receipts in Canada.

Volume of milk and cream sold off farms

The milk and cream sold off farms series represents total volume, irrespective of the end use, as recorded at the farm gate. Milk and cream sold off farms is destined for either fluid or industrial purposes, and is expressed as actual volume, regardless of the butterfat content. Off farm sales reported here can differ from those reported by the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC) because the CDC reports standardised volumes (3.6 kilograms of butterfat per hectoliter - 3.6 B.F. kg/hl).

The volume of fluid milk represents milk sold to dairies at fluid class prices, by province of origin. Industrial milk includes all milk sold to dairies and dairy processors at industrial class prices, by province of origin. The quantity of cream represents farm separated cream converted to milk equivalent (3.6 B.F. kg/hl) and sold for manufacturing purposes.

Volumes of milk and cream sold off farm are calculated using administrative sources. Along with cash receipts data, each provincial marketing board provides Statistics Canada with volumes of fluid milk and industrial milk and cream sold off farms, on a monthly basis. Milk marketing boards purchase milk from dairy farm operators then sell it to dairies and processors at a price based on class. All transactions are recorded by the boards and Statistics Canada receives the aggregate of these transactions.

As a result of different accounting and recording systems and practices, statistical information reported to Statistics Canada can vary from province to province.

The provincial marketing boards report sales of milk for fluid and industrial purposes to Statistics Canada in kilolitres The portion of milk sold off farms for industrial purposes and delivered as cream is reported to Statistics Canada by the Canadian Dairy Commission(CDC) in kilograms of butterfat and converted to milk equivalent (3.6 B.F. kg/hl). Manitoba and Alberta are exceptions in that marketing boards for these two provinces report data for cream sold for industrial purposes.

The data are considered of high quality since the provincial milk marketing boards purchase all milk produced within a province and make payments to producers. Data provided by the boards are also subject to audits and are monitored by the CDC.

The information is also considered high quality because the universe is stable and the response rate is high, however non-sampling errors can occur.

Sales of fluid milk and cream by dairies

The sales of fluid milk and cream by dairies provide commercial sales data, both wholesale and retail, at national and provincial levels. These data represent all sales for direct consumption, and include sales to stores, restaurants, hotels and public institutions. The sale data represent the actual quantity of milk sold in each province regardless of the province of origin.

Total commercial sales represent products of various butterfat content. Generally, these products contain less butterfat than that contained in the milk shipped.

The series consists of the following dairy commodities: standard milk (3.25 per cent B.F.); two per cent partly skimmed milk (including two per cent partly skimmed U.H.T. milk); one per cent partly skimmed milk; skim milk (less than 0.3 per cent B.F.); buttermilk; chocolate drink (includes chocolate homogenised, chocolate partly skimmed two per cent and bubble gum two per cent milk); cereal cream (five to 10 per cent B.F.); table cream (15-21 per cent B.F.); whipping cream (30-35 per cent B.F.) and sour cream.

Care must be used when comparing the CDC’s fluid milk purchases by dairies to that of fluid milk sold off farms to dairies as reported by provincial marketing boards and as found in Table 2.

CDC data are usually higher because they include all fluid milk purchased by dairies, including exclusion milk (extra milk needed to produce a certain amount of fluid product i.e. you may need 1.1 litres of full fat milk to produce one litre of skim milk).

It also makes no allowance for losses in processing. Off farm sales of fluid milk (Table 2) are actual shipments of milk sold off the farm, regardless of butterfat content.

Sales of fluid milk (Table 2) are total sales regardless of province of origin whereas volume of fluid milk sold off farm to dairies (Table 1-1) is reported by province of origin.

The data are collected by monthly surveys mailed to all fluid plants in many of the provinces. Questionnaires are individually tailored to meet the specific data requirements of the provincial departments of agriculture or marketing boards. For some provinces monthly totals are compiled by their marketing boards and provided to the Livestock and Animal Products Section.

The data are considered of high quality because the universe is stable and the response rate is high, however non-sampling errors can occur.

Production and stocks

Statistics Canada, in cooperation with provincial departments, milk marketing boards and the Canadian Dairy Commission, collects information on production and stocks of specified dairy products and concentrated milk products and by-products. This includes butter and cheese, which are among the key indicators of the performance of the dairy industry.

Production data are collected monthly from provincial surveys of all dairy product processors across Canada. Dairy processors are required to report their monthly production of dairy products and by-products such as butter, cheddar cheese, variety cheeses, cottage cheese, ice cream and ice cream products, whole milk products, milk by-products and yogurts.

Stockholders are requested to provide the level of inventories as of the first business day of the month. These data are collected for a wide variety of dairy products through monthly provincial dairy surveys of all dairy product processors. Stockholders are required to report the commodities on hand in their establishments, or stored elsewhere in specially rented facilities.

The Inventory Statement of Butter and Cheese survey collects monthly statistics on the stocks of butter, whey butter, butter oil, cheddar cheese, variety cheese and process cheese. The information is obtained from public, semi-public and private warehouses along with large retail and wholesale warehouses. Total stocks of these products are generated for Canada and by province, when available.

Surveys are designed to meet the data requirements of both Statistics Canada and the provincial agencies involved in the data collection and processing. Units of measure of products are in metric tonnes, with the exception of products in the ice cream industry, which are measured in kilolitres. Data are collected and released on a monthly basis.

The data are considered of high quality because the universe is stable and the response rate is high, however non-sampling errors can occur.

Supply and disposition of dairy products

The supply and disposition series provides a monthly overview of the national domestic disappearance of several dairy products. Domestic disappearance data are available for butter, cheddar cheese, variety cheese, process cheese, concentrated milk, skim milk powder and two per cent concentrated milk.

Domestic disappearance is the amount of a commodity that is available for all uses in Canada and is a calculated residual obtained from the supply disposition balance sheet. Total supply is obtained by adding beginning stocks, imports and production figures. Total supply minus exports and ending stocks gives a residual amount – domestic disappearance. Domestic disappearance does not represent the total amount of a commodity actually consumed by individuals since it does not account for losses incurred at the retail level. Nor does it include household, cooking and plate loss.

Production and stock data methodology was described in the previous section. Imports and exports of dairy products are obtained from the International Trade Division of Statistics Canada. When goods are imported into or exported from Canada, declarations must be filed with Customs providing a variety of administrative information about the good involved. Statistics are developed from the Customs’ administrative records.

Data quality for domestic disappearance is directly related to the quality of the individual components. Quality statements for the import and export data obtained from International Trade Division can be found in publications from that division.

However, to be made public, the data from the International Trade Division must adhere to the high quality standards set by Statistics Canada.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

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